Sunday, December 23, 2007

Finding huntresses in the strangest places

Academia isn't always the friendliest place for a huntress, but sometimes it surprises me.

Saturday was winter commencement at my university, so I donned some graduation regalia and joined my fellow faculty to celebrate this rite of passage for our students. Before the festivities began, I was chatting with an English professor who started the same year I did, and we were discussing all the reasons we hadn't finished our grading yet.

After reciting my list of acceptable reasons, I admitted: "In all honesty, part of the reason is that I'm a hunter and it's duck season, so I've been really busy with that."

"You hunt?!?!?!" she asked.

Last time I told a group of professors that I was a hunter (at a gathering in San Francisco, no less), the reaction I got was, "You kill little animals?"

But this time I could tell it was different.

"Yup," I said.

"You hunt ducks?!?!"


"I want to hunt ducks!"

Wow. That's something you don't hear every day - not from a woman, and not from an academic. But there it was - a gift to my ears.

"I love ducks," she said, "and I figure if you're going to eat meat, hunting is the honest way to do it."

I was speechless. But only for a millisecond.

We immediately began plotting. Before making the financial commitment to hunting, she should come watch a hunt, I told her - just to make sure she's really comfortable with it. We're both on winter break now, so we'd have plenty of opportunities, but she'd need to borrow or buy camo and waders.

If she still wants to hunt after that, she'd need to take a hunter safety course, and get her license, and get a gun, and have it fitted, and take some shooting lessons. It wouldn't be cheap, I warned.

She was undaunted.

It was a classic female conversation: two women talking excitedly about something they'd like to do together. Anyone around us might've thought we were planning a shopping trip.

As we walked out to take our seats for the commencement ceremony, I was bubbling with excitement. It appeared a huntress had just been born.

Apparently, she was pretty excited as well. "Do you know John?" she asked after the ceremony, gesturing toward another professor she'd sat with during commencement. "He wants to try duck hunting too!"

Make that two new hunters.

© Holly A. Heyser 2007


Editor said...

see what your little blog has started!
Merry Christmas!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Mwah ha ha! My plot to have hunters take over the world is starting to work! Mwa ha ha ha haaaaaaaa....

Merry Christmas to you too, Rex!